Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor Ceremony in the City

Looking for some advice from anyone who has or knows someone who has gotten married in a public location in a big city. I live in Montreal, and we are having our wedding at a Hall in the Old part of town. I originally planned on having the ceremony and reception at the same location. However, while scouting for spots for pictures, my FI walked through a courtyard and decided maybe we should have the ceremony there, and then just walk down (1 block) to the hall. I think it's a great idea, beautiful gardens, cobblestone, cast iron fences, really romantic. Even if it drizzles (within reason), the old style with umbrellas could be stunning.

I'm wondering if anyone knows how it works. It's not really a park, just a pedestrian-only street near the heart of the old town. I've tried contacting the city, but no one has gotten back to me. Do we need permits? Do we have to pay to "rent" a public place like this? Or do we just show up and try to shoo tourists? I know bylaws might be different everywhere, but a little guidance is appreciated ! 

Re: Outdoor Ceremony in the City

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited October 2015

    Looking for some advice from anyone who has or knows someone who has gotten married in a public location in a big city. I live in Montreal, and we are having our wedding at a Hall in the Old part of town. I originally planned on having the ceremony and reception at the same location. However, while scouting for spots for pictures, my FI walked through a courtyard and decided maybe we should have the ceremony there, and then just walk down (1 block) to the hall. I think it's a great idea, beautiful gardens, cobblestone, cast iron fences, really romantic. Even if it drizzles (within reason), the old style with umbrellas could be stunning.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows how it works. It's not really a park, just a pedestrian-only street near the heart of the old town. I've tried contacting the city, but no one has gotten back to me. Do we need permits? Do we have to pay to "rent" a public place like this? Or do we just show up and try to shoo tourists? I know bylaws might be different everywhere, but a little guidance is appreciated ! 
    I definitely wouldn't show up and "shoo tourists."  You might want to post this on your local board.  I would go to the hall in person and ask.  It's a lot harder to ignore someone when they are standing in front of you.  Also, if you have an outdoor wedding you need to have an indoor contingency plan (for ANY rain), adverse temperatures, bathrooms, etc.  If it's over 80, it's too hot to have it outside.  If it's below 65-68, it's too cold.  You also need chairs--who is going to set them up and take them down?  You shouldn't be having any of your guests (including your immediate family and bridal party) set anything up or take it down.  It is also decidedly not romantic and very inconsiderate to your guests to have them stand in the rain for your ceremony, umbrellas or not. 

    Why can't you just do first look pics or bridal party pictures there?  It saves you the hassle of trying to rent out the place, get a permit, or getting it all set up.  

    ETA: Bathrooms are also very important for a ceremony space.  You need to have them.  It's incredibly rude to make your guests walk a block to the nearest restroom.  People will probably show up a half hour before, and maybe they drove an hour to get there.  Add in the ceremony time and that's a long time to go without a bathroom.  


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  • edited October 2015
    Umbrellas are not a reasonable plan B. Rain isn't the only reason to intitiate your plan B....humidity, bugs, heat/cold, mud, etc.

    As pretty as it sounds, it doesn't sound like a good idea logistically unless the city will let you rent it, tent it (in case of bad weather), and block it off to the public.

    We rented a downtown pedestrian bridge for our ceremony. We had to work with the city to get permits, barricades, security...and we definitely paid for it. Even with the barricades, random people tried to break through and a crowd of people watched and took photos. It was weird - who wants pictures of a stranger's wedding? But that's what happens when you get married in public. I can't imagine how invasive people would have been if we had just tried to "shoo" them.
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  • If I have to use an umbrella to watch your wedding I won't be staying. That is crazy rude. Also what about seating? You can't ask these people to stand and watch your wedding. Logistically this sounds like a bad idea.
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    You need to figure in seating for your ceremony. A seat for every butt. You can't have people standing. 

    adk19
  • Please contact City Hall. I'm not sure how Quebec is, but in Ontario all parks space, you have to pay for. Quebec has very different laws governing marriage so I would look into what is required when looking for a venue and officiant. Contact your local municipal office.
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